Judge rules out-of-state veterans cannot be denied tuition benefits
A judge ruled on Monday that the UH cannot deny veterans’ tuition benefits to those who enlisted outside of Texas but currently reside within the state, as reported in the Houston Chronicle.
“Texas may not discriminate against its more recent residents in favor of more established residents simply to control costs,” U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. wrote in his ruling.
The case against UH was brought by Keith Harris in May 2014. Harris enlisted in the Army in 1996 when he was 18 years old and a resident of Georgia. An honorably discharged veteran, Harris moved to Texas in 2004. He earned his B.A. at the University of Houston-Downtown, utilizing G.I. Bill benefits.
Harris enrolled in law school, but by that time, he had exhausted all of his VA education benefits. He attempted to apply for benefits under the Hazlewood Act, a state education benefit for veterans who enlisted in Texas, but he was denied.
As part of an agreement with UH, Harris is not being charged tuition and fees.
The UH System paid $9.9 million under Hazlewood in 2014, as reported in the Houston Chronicle.